Hunger Strike Spreading Among Detained NK Refugees

Reports Indicate New Spirit of Protest

According to The Commission to Help North Korean Refugees (a South Korean based NGO), news reports are beginning to filter out of China about a hunger strike among North Korean detainees who are being held in a facility preparatory to their shipment back home where they are sure to face prison or worse.

In China’s Tumen Detention Camp, where the North Koreans are being held, the reports say that about 100 of the 260 North Korean Refugees have gone on a hunger strike. In addition, many of the 110 held in Rongjing Camp have also begun their own strike, with the number growing steadily.

This development reportedly began when just seven inmates refused to eat in protest against China’s policy of repatriating all North Koreans they capture. Their jailors tried beatings and torture to break their spirit, but when those seven persisted, other inmates began joining in.

This is the first instance of imprisoned North Korean refugees standing up as a group and expressing their protest in concert.

Our group, Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (LFNKR) fully supports the efforts of these refugees and urges all others worldwide to seriously consider extending their own encouragement as well.

In addition, we suggest that more people around the world may wish to contact UNHCR and ask them when they intend to begin protecting these legitimate refugees.